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New ACC code toothless and empty

New ACC code toothless and empty

National has labelled the Government’s new Code of ACC Claimants’ Rights as “toothless” and says it doesn’t address the serious practical issues, such as those facing long-term claimants.

ACC spokesman, Dr Paul Hutchison, says the Code will do little to restore the public’s dented confidence in ACC.

“Take, for example, this clause – “A complaint cannot be made under this Code about any dealings ACC had with a claimant prior to 1 February 2003. This immediately leaves out hundreds of disaffected claimants.

“Similarly, this clause – “Any disputes about cover and entitlements, including treatment and compensation, are not covered by this Code, and continue to be addressed by the mechanisms under the Act.” This means most complainant issues are not addressed,” says Dr Hutchison.

“And this clause – “Under the appeal provisions in the Act, there is no right to appeal a review decision made under this Code …”.

“It is ludicrous for the ACC Minister to suggest the Code will ‘restore confidence in ACC’ while at the same time, attempt to attack National’s record. The fact is that in Labour’s term of Government, complaints to the Ombudsman have more than doubled – from 105 in 1999/2000 to 251 in 2001/2002.

“Further, under National’s competitive model, and between 1996 to 1999, moderate to serious injuries significantly reduced by over 15,000 compared with Labour’s record between 2000 and 2002, where moderate to serious injuries increased by 10,000.

“Labour’s record on ACC is abysmal and, sadly, nothing that a Code of Rights is going to fix,” says Dr Hutchison.

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